Oracle has hiccup in BEA developer site transfer

Oracle customers have been unable to directly download older versions of WebLogic Server and related software for some time and the problem may not be fixed until the end of October.

Oracle, which bought BEA for US$8.5 billion earlier this year, has been moving information and downloads from BEA’s site over to the Oracle Technology Network, but the transition has not been altogether smooth, according to a company blog post Monday.

“Unfortunately, as probably should be expected in such a migration things do not go perfectly. In general it has been pretty good but over the last week and a bit we frankly have had a logistical screw up that is causing some serious pain for customers who need to get older releases of our software,” Oracle official Mike Lehmann wrote.

“What happened is the software that used to be located on the site was taken offline and as a result, those older releases/upgrades/service packages are no longer available publicly for download,” he explained.

Most current releases of the BEA products as well as the re-branded Oracle versions are available for download on the Oracle Technology Network and another location, according to the post.

But users who still cannot locate the software they need should log a service request with BEA’s support team: “They have full access as you would expect to the repository and can get you the download you need.”

While Lehmann characterized the download problem as having lasted for a little over a week, one apparently relevant thread on the official WebLogic Server forum dates to Oct. 1.

Lehmann’s post gives no firm date as to when the downloads will become available again, stating only that “initial reads indicate this could take until the end of the month to resolve.”

He stressed that Oracle remains committed to supporting the older software versions under the company’s Lifetime Support Policy.

“Apologies in advance for the pain this caused — we were starting to feel pretty good about our record with the migration to OTN so I suppose we were due for some comeuppance,” he added.

The download issue is not the only recent problem connected to Oracle’s online support systems. Its technical forums were plagued by performance problems several months ago due to a system upgrade.

It also underscores the logistical perils inherent in any major acquisition.

Earlier this year, some customers of BI (business intelligence) vendor Business Objects were infuriated when they were unable to access the support site maintained by SAP, which had bought Business Objects for nearly $7 billion.

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